Don’t cry “foul” for me, Argentina.

9b1e0a054fe74633a12795e7b5738836When it comes down to a toughly contested game where teams are evenly matched, and in the end the game is decided by a poor referee decision, one can always wonder if the power that be had some sort of hand in the outcome.  Friday’s match between the Stormers and Rebels turned out to have a couple of bad officiating which seemed to have robbed the Stormers of a much needed win, and we can go into the technical discussions later on.

However, the Stormers vs Rebels match isn’t one of those matches where the two sides are evenly matched. No. The Stormers is a vastly superior side to the Rebels. They have been, as the “child” of Western Province, been in the throes of Rugby for over a century, while the Rebels, well, they are newborns in the Rugby world, with no traditions to speak of, no history to count on, and very little else than a few mercenaries playing the game of Rugby on borrowed time.  It’s like a newborn baby taking on a seasoned athlete, it should really be no contest.

The Stormers and fans can cry foul all they want about one or two refereeing decisions that didn’t go their way, but really, when you play the Rebels and it comes down to one or two refereeing decisions, how can you cry foul? Why did the Stormers not thump them like they did a few seasons ago?

The Stormers have traditionally been the best travellers from a South African perspective, and this year they just ploddered around and made a mess of every game.  It is not the Stormers side I’ve become used to know and one can not blame the Referee for the disaster which was Friday. The Stormers only have themselves to blame.

A discussion on SA Referee’s went into depth into discussing a few Referee decisions on Friday.  Now, at no point am I suggesting these are why the Stormers lost, but it makes for interesting discussion nonetheless.

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From SA Referees

(i) Retaking the penalty

Deon Fourie is penalised at a tackle. The Rebels’ captain Scott Higginbotham tell the referee that they were kicking at goal. Jason Woodward of the Rebels, receives the kicking tee, places the ball on it and takes careful aim at the posts which are straight ahead of him.

Meanwhile the Stormers gather in a close group for some kind of meeting.

Woodward comes forward to kick and at the lest minute swings across the ball and sends it bouncing near the cornerflag on his left as two Rebels and a Stormer race towards the ball.

The referee stops play and tells Woodward that he had indicated a kick at goal and was required to make a genuine attempt to kick at goal.

Then he says to the Rebels: Take it again.”

Right?

Law 21.5 SCORING A GOAL FROM A PENALTY KICK

(b) If the kicker indicates to the referee the intention to kick at goal, the kicker must kick at goal. Once the kicker has made the intention clear, there can be no change of the intention. The referee may enquire of the kicker as to the intention.

Sanction: Unless otherwise stated in Law any infringement by the kicker’s team results in a scrum at the mark. The opposing team throws in the ball.

There is nothing in the law that suggests that ‘take it again’ is an option to the kicker’s team. It should have been a scrum to the Stormers.

It is not great if a referee makes a mistake in law.

(ii) Penalty try

The ball is bouncing all over the place. It seems to go forward from Luke Jones but the referee says it went backwards.

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